Vrana never considered being a sculptor until his mid-thirties. He was born in New Jersey and spent his childhood on Long island in a family of builders and architects.
His interest in travel and the sea found him at the outbreak of World War II already a radio operator, in the Merchant Marine. The six years involved in the conflict led to exposure to various geographic cultures and peoples. Upon his return, he married, studied and became a horticulturist and landscape designer, starting his own successful nursery 50 miles from New York City.
Ten years later, restless, he sold out and moved his family aboard a 30 ‘ sailboat and sailed to Florida to spend a year studying tropical horticulture at the University of Miami. To indulge himself, he tried to enroll in a painting class, only to find it was filled . . . so he took sculpture as a second choice! 1957 and ’58 saw him and his wife and two small daughters, traveling in Europe, visiting museums and galleries in England, Ireland, Holland, France and Italy. In Spain, he set up a studio where he carved three marble pieces.
Vrana is known primarily for his monumental architectural sculpture. He said, “My approach is different, yet traditional, in that much of my work is integrated as part of the structure and related to the specific building in both design and materials, in harmony, not conflict, with the architecture.”